PG Cooper: Good and Evil Awards (2011)

Posted: January 2, 2012 by Daniel Simpson (PG Cooper) in PGCMAs

*Why a totem? I wanted a physical item to represent these awards, so I decided to borrow an item from last year’s PGCMA Best Picture winner, Inception.

Best Hero

Johnny Depp, Rango- Who’d have thought one of the most inspiring heroes of the year would be a neurotic animated lizard voiced by Johnny Depp. But Rango is a very inspiring hero. He starts out as a pathetic and shy character, and uses lies to perpetuate his own image. But he eventually finds himself having to live up to it’s own lies, and becomes a great legend by film’s end.

Michael Fassbender, X-Men: First Class- You might see this and call bs, after all, isn’t Magneto the villain? In the previous films, no doubt. But here, I found him to be more of a tragic hero. Seeking revenge for the death his mother, Magneto ruthlessly pursues the Nazis that took his family. Magneto is a more complicated hero than the rest of the nominees. You can tell deep down he has noble intentions, but there’s a lot of darkness in his heart. It’s these complications that make him so interesting, and Fassbender’s performance so compelling.

Chris Hemsworth, Thor- Brash, arrogant pompous, egotistical. All words that can accurately describe Hemsworth’s Thor. But you can also add cool, efficient, and badass to the list. Unlike most super heroes who have some specific event that launches them into being a hero, Thor just is one. That’s who he was born and raised to be.

James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class- The brilliant Professor Xavier. He’s kind, sympathetic, smart, noble. We see Xavier recruiting various mutants and doing his best to guide them, as well as strengthening relations between humans and mutants. But there’s also a lot of qualities McAvoy brings to the character that Patrick Stewart never could. For one, being younger, Xavier actually takes an active role in the missions. I also like the more fun side McAvoy is able to show off.

Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two- No more hiding, and no more guidance. Harry finally has to stand on his own against Voldemort. All his sacrifices and struggles come to their ultimate conclusion. After all these years, it’s amazing to see Harry fully become the hero he’s been built up to be throughout the series.

And The Winner Is…

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Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

Of all the nominees, none has the sense of pathos and accomplishment that this one does. Harry has been a hero in the making since the first film, and there’s a real sense of catharsis seeing him become such a hero. The entire world’s fate rides on his shoulders and he handles the burden well.

Best Villain

Albert Brooks, Drive- Who’d have thought Albert Brooks had such an intense and violent criminal within him. What makes Brooks so great as a villain is while he can be a psychotic criminal, he also seems to be a pretty normal old guy. He only engages in violence when he has to.

Jesper Christensen, The Debt- The whole plot of the film revolves around a team capturing this Nazi and arresting him. Before he’s captured, he seems like a pretty normal guy who you wouldn’t think twice about. But once he’s taken, and starts to let the monster come out, he becomes fascinating to watch. The way he messes with everyone’s head sort of reminded me of Hannibal Lecter, and like Lecter, I found myself captivated with Christensen’s performance.

Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two- In the series past films, Voldemort always took a more background role, being more of a presence than a tangible threat. This all changed in Deathly Hallows Part Two where Voldemort took center stage as the villain. He’s a dominating force, and Fiennes is great as an embodiment of ultimate evil.

Tom Hiddleston, Thor- We saw a lot of comic book villains brought to the big screen, but none made the transition as well as Loki. All the other forms of Loki in I’ve seen before felt kind of lame. He just seemed like a cackling fool. But here, he felt like a genuinely tragic villain who fell from grace. I found myself seeing things from his point of view and actually sympathizing with him.

Bill Nighy, Rango- Even with a gimmicky name, Rattlesnake Jake was easily one of the year’s most threatening and scary villains. The creepy voice, the dark eyes, the badass design, and a mini-gun for a tail! How can you not love him? I also like how, scary as he is, by the end of the film you sort of respect him in a weird way.

And The Winner Is…

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Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two

Great villains are often defined by their relationship with the hero, and few hero/villain relationships are as intimate as Harry and Voldemort’s. These are two characters who have been through a lot together. Voldemort has influenced Harry in some ways his entire life. To see this relationship come to an end after ten years was a cathartic experience. But that’s not the only reason Fiennes is winning. Fiennes is pretty much the definition of evil, and his gleeful enjoyment of it is sick, yet mesmerizing.

Comments
  1. Nice list – good choices!

  2. Lovin’ on some Harry Potter, huh?

    It’s ok, they’re each worthy. I still cant get over how much of a “bang” that series went out with.

    Phenomenal flick….

    • pgcooper1939 says:

      Well like I said, the best heroes and villains are often defined by their relationship with each other. Batman and The Joker, Luke and Darth Vader, hell, Neo and Agent Smith. With that in mind, these choices were easy.

  3. Great winners, and there’s something about seeing the whole back story of a hero that definitely places Harry Potter on top. We get abbreviated versions of the histories for most superheroes, but nothing like this series!

    I’m also pleased to see Jesper Christensen get a nomination here. I was so impressed by his character–and more than a little scared to be honest!

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